Larry Rivers

Hunter, Author, Sam Hunter, Author
Hunter, Author, Sam Hunter, Author Rizzoli International Publications $75 (358p) ISBN 978-0-8478-1094-9
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
Rivers's public persona as an artist combines that of bohemian outsider, sensualist and entertainer. His best-known images of the 1960s--Dutch Masters cigars, French money, cigarette packs--became Pop icons. Eschewing abstraction, he came up with startling, disquieting figures, such as his obese, sagging mother-in-law depicted in the nude with brutal honesty ( Double Portrait of Berdie ). Yet there is more to Rivers than the hipster, as this lavishly illustrated monograph by a former Princeton art historian shows. Hunter makes a case for Rivers as a social realist: witness his powerful construction piece Ghetto Stoop or recent works that include searching portraits of Primo Levi, Leonard Bernstein and New York's ex-mayor Ed Koch. In History of Matzoh , a collage-like chronicle of the Jewish people, Rivers (born Yizroch Grossberg in 1923 in the Bronx) explores his Jewish roots. His latest series of 3-D paintings encompasses dancers, movie stars, Chinese and surrealist motifs. (May)
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